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Roger Huerta's Parting With UFC 'Wasn't Really a Big Deal'

The addition of Roger Huerta to the Bellator lightweight division has given the upstart organization a nice boost as it prepares for the start of its second season on April 8.

But what about Huerta's relationship with his former employer, the UFC? Huerta really made a name for himself fighting inside the Octagon eight times over the course of three years and even became the first and only MMA fighter to land on the cover of Sports Illustrated while a member of the UFC roster. In other words, the UFC has been a big part of his fighting life.

When Dan Henderson chose to sign with Strikeforce instead of the UFC, he said he wanted to personally break the news to Dana White, but on Tuesday's edition of SiriusXM Fight Club, 'El Matador' said that his UFC run ended quietly.

"It really wasn't much. Again, when you don't fight that many times for your company, I guess you're not around there anymore. I guess it would have been difficult if it was right after '07. '07 is when I fought five times, and then to say I'm going to move on. But no, I fought once in '09 and '08, and therefore, it's like, well, it's not like I was really there anymore, and so to me, it wasn't really a big deal."

As for his current relationship with White, Huerta says he has no issues with his former boss.

"He's not like my best friend or anything. I don't call him, 'Hey, man, how's it going?' You know, it's not like that. I'd say it's like a mutual friendship. Meaning, a respectful friendship. Let's say if I saw him out, you know the guy, so it's like, 'Hey, man, how's it going?' That kind of thing. But nothing like I'm going to call a guy I went to college with."

Part of the reason why Huerta only fought twice since 2007 was because he wanted to pursue an acting career. He was featured in the recently released Tekken and also stars in the upcoming film, Circle of Pain.

However, Huerta, who will make his Bellator debut against a yet to be announced opponent on April 8, says that his true interests lie in the cage.

"To be honest, my passion is in fighting. Fighting for me, that's what I've known, that's what I've done my whole life, that's how I got here today. To this day, my whole life, it's been a fight. That's what's in me. So thank God I'm in a place where I'm able to compete again and especially with a promotion like Bellator. It's great; it's awesome. And the thing about that Bellator tournament is, these guys are going to be hungry, and especially when they know that I'm in there, I'm going to be fighting the best of them. So, we'll see how it all pans out."

That said, though, the 26-year-old veteran of 26 fights says the acting bug hasn't left his system just yet.

"No, it's not out," he said while laughing. "It's not out of me yet. It will still be there. Of course, when things are all said and done ... but I still got a couple good years left in my of fighting."

(Editor's note:'s Ariel Helwani is a co-host on SiriusXM Fight Club. The show airs every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 2-4 PM ET on Sirius 126, XM 243.)

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